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Assignment Drop Box

Web application that accepts uploaded assignment files from students and provides a receipt. Allows staff to set due dates, rules about what files are allowed or required, grant extensions and view and download submissions.

Created for The University of Auckland Computer Science Department in 2013

Technologies: ASP.NET MVC, CSS, HTML, JavaScript, SQL Server

Requirements

The Computer Science department at the University of Auckland had an existing web based system which allowed students to submit their assignments (primarily program source code) online. The system had cut-off dates for submissions and provided students with a receipt to confirm their submission. However the underlying technologies were being retired and the existing system couldn't be modified to accommodate, so they needed a replacement system.

Solution

The replacement system was developed in ASP.NET MVC with a little bit of JavaScript augmentation for usability. The backend consists of a SQL Server database and web services are used to connect with the University's Learning Management System. In terms of technologies, the system uses Entity Framework for database access and MEF for dependency injection. The entire system is unit tested using NUnit (with 95%+ coverage), and to facilitate testing, the controllers interact with a service layer and behind that is repository.

To provide a good user experience for students, JavaScript was used to provide a more flexible file upload interface. And to support staff, JavaScript was used to help them in configuring the rules for which files are allowed or disallowed in each submission. For more information about each feature, see the screenshots below.

Screenshots

Home page

ADB Home](adb-home-800x543.png)
Assignment Drop Box Home page

 

The home page lists all active dropboxes for the students to submit to. For administrators, it also lists the dropboxes they can administer with a summary of submissions to them.

Submit Page

Submit Page
Submit Page

The submission page dynamically validates the file selected to ensure they meet the submission rules.

Submission Receipt

Submission Receipt displayed to student
Submission Receipt displayed to student

After a successful submission, the student is shown a receipt which clearly indicates whether the submission succeeded or failed. They also receive a copy via email.

Documentation

For more information about the system features, you can read the Instructions for Staff document that I created to explain the system features to staff:

Assignment Dropbox - Instructions For Staff.pdf (870kb)

Summary

This system is currently in use by the Computer Science department at The University of Auckland. It has received over 12,000 submissions from students so far, and has drawn praise from both students and staff for the ease of use.